As we greet the New Year, memories guide us forward.
One of 2018’s best memories started off as a very sad story.
Travelling country roads tending our bees we came across a lovely Painted Turtle who had been the victim of a car assault.
Her beautiful shell was in terrible shape, a huge piece of the bottom half almost completely detached revealing parts of her internal organs.
We carefully picked her up and called the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre (yes angels do exist!)
They reassured us that they would arrange a volunteer to pick her up and bring her to their hospital North of Peterborough if we could get her to a vet clinic in Orangeville.
The hour plus drive was hard on her, she was in a lot of pain and she laid two eggs en route.
All Summer we worried about Ms Deemerton (we named her after the wee town she was found in).
While visiting Paris we were reminded of her struggle to survive in a world that held both honour and hazards for her.
Finally, 3 months after her rescue, Ms Deemerton was ready to return to her watery home. She had laid another 10 eggs while at the OTCC ! Just like Queen Bees they can store sperm for years. Sadly though, none of these eggs hatched.
Time was ticking as she needed to get back home before the seasons changed again. She had been hit on the road in Spring while finding a good place to lay her eggs. It was now almost Fall and it would be hard for her to adjust if the temperatures fell.
The Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre called to say they could bring her halfway and explained how to care for her on the rest of her journey home.
Exactly 3 months to the day, Ms Deemerton returned to the sights, sounds and scents of her native home.
Had it not been for our trip between bee yards she might not have been found.
We always pay respect to Water. Water is Life. We label our honey bottles with the body of water the girls drink from; respect for the bountiful gifts Water always provides.
Thanks to the bees, the gift of life was returned.
Ms Deemerton reminds us of the simple joys of life and how connected we all are.
We like to imagine Ms Deemerton giving a nod as the bees drink at the bank of her pond. Perhaps a nibble?